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"Πάντα ῥεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει"







September 30th
10:27 AM
Via
arxsec:

Kenya: Vulnerability exposed - security forces must forge stronger …

Nairobi (Kenya) - For a short moment last week, Kenya’s fratricidal politics went into remission from its terminal insanity. In the face of Al Shabaab’s murderous …

arxsec:

Kenya: Vulnerability exposed - security forces must forge stronger …

July 9th
10:39 AM
Via
"Don’t think I was surprised. By now, I’m used to it. Whether I’m trying to figure out what the U.S. military is doing in Latin America or Africa, Afghanistan or Qatar, the response is remarkably uniform — obstruction and obfuscation, hurdles and hindrances. In short, the good old-fashioned military runaround. I had hoped to take a walk around al-Udeid Air Base, perhaps get a glimpse of the jumbotron-sized screens and rows of computers in its Combined Air and Space Operations Center. I wanted to learn how the drawdown in Afghanistan was affecting life on the base. Instead, I ended up sitting in the climate-controlled comfort of my hotel room, staring at a cloudless sky, typing these words behind double-paned glass that shielded me from the 106 degree heat outside. For my trouble, on my return to the United States, I was detained at Kennedy Airport in New York by agents of the Department of Homeland Security. Their question for me: Was I planning to fight against U.S. forces in Afghanistan?"
April 4th
11:54 AM
Via
inkivu:

Young miners and soldiers in a conflict gold mine in the Congo

Report on M23 & the DRC  |  Rebel Group’s Quest to Liberate Congo

inkivu:

Young miners and soldiers in a conflict gold mine in the Congo

Report on M23 & the DRC  |  Rebel Group’s Quest to Liberate Congo

March 8th
1:55 AM
Via
thepeacefulterrorist:

Dogon girl with a baby in a small village in the Dogon valley.

thepeacefulterrorist:

Dogon girl with a baby in a small village in the Dogon valley.

January 13th
6:34 PM
Juan Cole | Informed Comment »

Mali, a country of about 16 million (roughly the demographic size of the Netherlands or a little less populous than Florida), is 5 percent animist, 5 percent Christian, and 90 percent Muslim. But most Malians practice a Sufi and liberal-minded form of the religion, which values music and urbane culture. A small radical group based in the country’s vast north has come under Wahhabi influences from Saudi Arabia and wants to impose their fundamentalism on the whole country, attacking Sufi shrines… >continue<

related: French Intervene in Mali  |  Mali crisis: Who’s who?

Juan Cole | Informed Comment »

Mali, a country of about 16 million (roughly the demographic size of the Netherlands or a little less populous than Florida), is 5 percent animist, 5 percent Christian, and 90 percent Muslim. But most Malians practice a Sufi and liberal-minded form of the religion, which values music and urbane culture. A small radical group based in the country’s vast north has come under Wahhabi influences from Saudi Arabia and wants to impose their fundamentalism on the whole country, attacking Sufi shrines… >continue<

related: French Intervene in Mali Mali crisis: Who’s who?

December 2nd
1:28 PM
A Rebel Group&#8217;s Quest to &#8216;Liberate&#8217; CongoJan Puhl and Thilo Thielke  |  Der Spiegel&#160;&#187;

Congo's tragedy began in Rwanda, its neighbor to the east, a country with a strong military and an authoritarian government. In 1994, Hutu militias began attacking members of the Tutsi ethnic group, killing about 800,000 people in only 100 days. This genocide is Central Africa's original catastrophe.A Tutsi army under current Rwandan President Paul Kagame drove the Hutu killers to the west and into the Congo jungles. With support from Uganda, the Rwandan army pursued the militias into Congo. The official justification for the incursion into Congolese territory was to protect Tutsi living in Congo.But once they were in Congo, Rwandan troops joined forces with Congolese rebels and advanced to Kinshasa, where they overthrew dictator Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997. Laurent Désiré Kabila, the father of the current president, was named president in his place.But this didn&#8217;t lead to peace, as the fighting continued between militias and government troops in eastern Congo. It was the beginning of a grueling civil war that has no winners, fueled by ethnic hatred and, most of all, by deadly greed. Eastern Congo is rich in minerals like coltan, which is used in mobile phones.In fact, most of the world&#8217;s coltan reserves are in eastern Congo. Militias forced villagers to work in the mines, where they scratch the coltan out of the earth with picks and shovels. The ore is then shipped to China and South Korea via Uganda and Rwanda.It is hard to recognize any political objectives among the parties to the conflict, which in fact revolves around control of the mines &#8212; a ticket to wealth. War has become part of everyday life, with the local population paying the price. Five years ago, aid organizations estimated the death toll at about 1,000 a day.  &gt;continue&lt;

Spotlight DRC  |  M23 &amp; the DRC  |  Rwandan Ghosts
UN documentation of violations in the DRC 1993-2003

A Rebel Group’s Quest to ‘Liberate’ Congo
Jan Puhl and Thilo Thielke  |  Der Spiegel »

Congo's tragedy began in Rwanda, its neighbor to the east, a country with a strong military and an authoritarian government. In 1994, Hutu militias began attacking members of the Tutsi ethnic group, killing about 800,000 people in only 100 days. This genocide is Central Africa's original catastrophe.

A Tutsi army under current Rwandan President Paul Kagame drove the Hutu killers to the west and into the Congo jungles. With support from Uganda, the Rwandan army pursued the militias into Congo. The official justification for the incursion into Congolese territory was to protect Tutsi living in Congo.

But once they were in Congo, Rwandan troops joined forces with Congolese rebels and advanced to Kinshasa, where they overthrew dictator Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997. Laurent Désiré Kabila, the father of the current president, was named president in his place.

But this didn’t lead to peace, as the fighting continued between militias and government troops in eastern Congo. It was the beginning of a grueling civil war that has no winners, fueled by ethnic hatred and, most of all, by deadly greed. Eastern Congo is rich in minerals like coltan, which is used in mobile phones.

In fact, most of the world’s coltan reserves are in eastern Congo. Militias forced villagers to work in the mines, where they scratch the coltan out of the earth with picks and shovels. The ore is then shipped to China and South Korea via Uganda and Rwanda.

It is hard to recognize any political objectives among the parties to the conflict, which in fact revolves around control of the mines — a ticket to wealth. War has become part of everyday life, with the local population paying the price. Five years ago, aid organizations estimated the death toll at about 1,000 a day.  >continue<

Spotlight DRC M23 & the DRC  |  Rwandan Ghosts

UN documentation of violations in the DRC 1993-2003

December 31st
3:10 PM

Goodluck crushing terrorists in Nigeria

Declares state of emergency

President Goodluck Jonathan has declared a state of emergency in some northern and central parts of the country that have been hit hard by violence blamed on the radical sect, Boko Haram.

bombings have raised fears that Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden”, and whose movement is styled on the Taliban, is trying to ignite sectarian strife in Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer.  >continue<

Vows to crush  |  Who are Boko Haram?  |  Mapping Nigeria divide

Update 1/9: Violence amid fuel subsidy protests
Live rounds & teargas

August 30th
12:28 PM
Via
msg:

Matternet creates unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can be used to ferry medicine and other goods to remote places such as rural villages in Africa. In such places, people often have to walk 20 miles to a clinic to receive treatments as simple as blood tests or pills. With Matternet, UAVs can carry the payloads instead from point to point or to automated ground stations. At some point the ground stations will be so plentiful that the UAVs could transfer items over long distances.
via VentureBeat: Singularity University graduates a class of tech world changers

msg:

Matternet creates unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can be used to ferry medicine and other goods to remote places such as rural villages in Africa. In such places, people often have to walk 20 miles to a clinic to receive treatments as simple as blood tests or pills. With Matternet, UAVs can carry the payloads instead from point to point or to automated ground stations. At some point the ground stations will be so plentiful that the UAVs could transfer items over long distances.

via VentureBeat: Singularity University graduates a class of tech world changers

June 9th
9:42 AM

US universities in Africa 'land grab'

Intimately related to our last post from yesterday on politicians & bankers turning foodstuffs into a betting game, as well as an earlier entry on Egypt’s food & water supply issues.

Institutions including Harvard and Vanderbilt reportedly use hedge funds to buy land in deals that may force farmers out

Harvard and other major American universities are working through British hedge funds and European financial speculators to buy or lease vast areas of African farmland in deals, some of which may force many thousands of people off their land, according to a new study.

Much of the money is said to be channelled through London-based Emergent asset management, which runs one of Africa’s largest land acquisition funds, run by former JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs currency dealers.

“The scale of the land deals being struck is shocking”, said Mittal. “The conversion of African small farms and forests into a natural-asset-based, high-return investment strategy can drive up food prices and increase the risks of climate change.

…“This is creating insecurity in the global food system that could be a much bigger threat to global security than terrorism. More than one billion people around the world are living with hunger. The majority of the world’s poor still depend on small farms for their livelihoods, and speculators are taking these away while promising progress that never happens.”  >continue<

foodramblings « a tumblr focusing on these issues

June 7th
6:10 PM
Via

almaswithinalmas:

‘Nodding’ Disease Confounds Researchers - CNN

African children are dying from a mysterious disease. Gary Strieker of Global health Frontline News reports.

Dr. Scott Dowell, from the CDC’s Division of Disease Detection & Emergency Response, led an investigation in the area. He says they’re not only baffled by the cause of the disease. They can’t determine why it only preys on children. “It really is very tightly clustered between five and 15 years of age,” he says. “In the study we did in northern Uganda 93% of kids were in that age window and I don’t know why that is.”

June 5th
10:20 PM
Via

Egypt's Food Supply in Danger - Lester Brown

climateadaptation:

China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other rich countries that cannot grow their own crops have bought or leased prime lands in Africa at rock bottom prices. Africa is already struggling with food shortages, and their prime lands are being used for foreign export. These countries use African land to grow food for export while paying low wages in a near feudalistic system, extract hugely valuable water resources, and are using millions of tons of unregulated pesticides. Brilliant.

The IIED has a page dedicated to land use deals in Africa, here.

underpaidgenius:

Egypt is a nation of bread eaters. Its citizens consume 18 million tons of wheat annually, more than half of which comes from abroad. Egypt is now the world’s leading wheat importer, and subsidized bread — for which the government doles out approximately $2 billion per year — is seen as an entitlement by the 60 percent or so of Egyptian families who depend on it.

As Egypt tries to fashion a functioning democracy after President Hosni Mubarak’s departure, land grabs to the south are threatening its ability to put bread on the table because all of Egypt’s grain is either imported or produced with water from the Nile River, which flows north through Ethiopia and Sudan before reaching Egypt. (Since rainfall in Egypt is negligible to nonexistent, its agriculture is totally dependent on the Nile.)

Unfortunately for Egypt, two of the favorite targets for land acquisitions are Ethiopia and Sudan, which together occupy three-fourths of the Nile River Basin. Today’s demands for water are such that there is little left of the river when it eventually empties into the Mediterranean. >continue<

The coming water wars will divide the world like never before.

February 22nd
2:53 PM
Reach of Libyan influence on the African continent.  Here Tunisia is errantly made a part of Libya.  However, the synopsis of relational influence indicates both the leverages Gaddafi may be able to exploit - and complications on the horizon should he disappear.

Reach of Libyan influence on the African continent.  Here Tunisia is errantly made a part of Libya.  However, the synopsis of relational influence indicates both the leverages Gaddafi may be able to exploit - and complications on the horizon should he disappear.